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Retro Fire

Written: 9.4.11
Acquired: 2.13.06
Status: Cart only
Price: $4

Pub: KonamiApril '93
Dev: Konami8 MEGS

Based upon the 1992 summer film blockbuster, Batman makes his SNES debut in Batman Returns. As the caped crusader it is your mission to clean up the seedy streets of Gotham City by punching, kicking, head butting, swooping and there's even enough time for a lovely little Batmobile ride. With prior smash SNES hits like Contra III: The Alien Wars and the stellar Super Castlevania IV, did Konami deliver the goods yet again? Let's take a closer look then
Did I go bats for Batman Returns?  [Pack yer bats, er, bags -Ed.]


Horrified by his disfigurement, Oswald Cobblepot's parents abandoned him and
threw him and his carriage into the Gotham River. The carriage floated down the
storm drain and ended up in Arctic World, part of the old Gotham Zoo. There he
was rescued by four Emperor penguins, and a bond they quickly forged...

Selina Kyle was once a quiet secretary of Max Shreck, a very powerful businessman. That's before transforming into the Catwoman!

Who prowls the Gotham streets looking for the Bat...

Penguin has special plans for Gotham City, but Batman has other ideas. Something's got to give one way or another...

                                                            Bats, cats, penguins and clowns -- OH MY!

It's a veritable party up in here

                                               Whenever trouble arises, the Bat Signal shines brightly

[Wait, Batman's Michael Keaton?  Bullocks, me thinks -Ed.]

                                              Hang on to your bat belts -- it's gonna be a BUMPY ride!

You just can't keep a good bat down...

                                                                  Bad guys beware: the BAT'S BACK!


The action starts out hot in
the Gotham Plaza where the Penguin's Red Triangle Circus Gang launches an attack on the city's Christmas festival

Too bad they forgot to account for the CAPED CRUSADER!

Batman's brutality knows no bounds. One of the neat features in this game is the ability to slam a bad guy against the wall, or EVEN, shattering his bones through glass windows!

Barbaric?  Indeed

Fun?  Absolutely

Best yet, you can even slam a bad guy into his buddy, taking out both at once!

                                                                     Batman Returns: a SMASHIN' good time

Another awesome technique is grabbing two enemies and introducing
them to each other. Talk about a meeting of the minds!  [Oi.... -Ed.]

Beat 'em up fans may recall a similar
move in The Combatribes. So it might
not be original, but it sure still is fun

By the by, love me some Combatribes.
Just a fun vicious little beat 'em up.
Nobody kicks ass like Bullova!
Better believe that!

There's a small variety of different clowns to beat up. One of them is the bazooka clown, whose missiles can actually harm their own!

                                       "Hey thanks pal, but no thanks. I WORK ALONE IN THIS TOWN!"

The game does a good
job at matching the feel
and mood of the movie

It's bleak, gloomy, grim and melancholy -- just like Gotham City

                                              "Alright I guess we're doing this the HARD WAY then..."

Cut scenes and thanks ensue

There's a very gritty feel to the game, which perfectly captures the mood of Gotham City

Will she end up helping our bat friend or not?

                                            "Didn't I just save your meddling butt FIVE minutes ago?!"

Pretty gnarly graphics, especially for a game that came out in early-ish '93. Huge characters clutter the screen like never seen before. No squinting here!

I wanna go out Friday night, YAKETY YAK  [Don't come back -Ed.]

Prepare yourself for another single plane action scene, where your attacks come in the form of your trusty Batarang

                                                             All is quiet in Gotham City... NOT

Chill, you can't hurt the innocent  [Shame, uh I mean, sweet -Ed.]

                                                 Fat clowns and tall clowns -- the originality of it all!

Bit tricky at first but then you start swinging like a monkey!

Love this part. Snow littered on the streets. Innocent chubby children scurrying away. Crazy clowns abound. Dark alleys around. Good stuff

                                       Gotham City's littered with creeps and clowns. Beware the dark...

At the end of level two you come to a towering bloke reading the paper. Every operation needs to have some muscle. Welcome to the muscle. It won't be long before he rips the paper to shreds and then looks to rip your OWN head right off!

But thank goodness you're BATMAN, right?  Man of infinite resources and skill!

"Come on FATSO -- we all know you can't read anyway!"
[Great, agitate the big strong mad man. Smart!  -Ed.]

What scenes of madness await beyond this?  Play it for yourself and find out!

                                       "Hey, let me help you go through the glass... INVOLUNTARILY!!"


Batman Returns fared well with the critics. Super Play, who were notorious for giving beat 'em ups a hard time, gave this game a whopping 87% -- higher than any other beat 'em up they scored. Meanwhile, GameFan rated it 84%, 85%, 92% and 97% (!).  EGM's own Martin Alessi gave it 85% and Howard Grossman 86%. And fans over all often rave of this game, calling it one of the best movie license games around. By most accounts it was yet another Konami hit; talk 'bout Midas touch!
Looks like Batman returned with a bang!

                                                                            "I AM BRUCE WAYNE!!"

A couple weekends ago, I organized a volunteering gig with some friends of mine. We went to wash the feet of the homeless. It was a humbling and amazing experience. I'll never forget the first man whose feet I washed. He told me right off the bat (pardon the pun...) that his name is Bruce Wayne, and that he's THE Batman. Naturally, part of me thought he was mentally damaged. But as the foot washing went on, "Bruce" shared childhood stories of his father with me, his 29 years in the truck driving business and his dreams growing up. Didn't take long for me to realize he's just like anyone else. At the end he thanked me and left. Three short minutes later, he walks back in and shows to me his identification card. SON OF A GUN. Sure enough, there it was, clear as a bright, warm sunny summer's day. Name: BRUCE WAYNE. He wasn't kidding, he really was Bruce Wayne. He gave me a grin and I returned the gesture as we nodded before he walked out. Later, I spoke with the coordinator and she explained to me how Bruce is a regular and how his Batman persona is his own personal way of coping with being homeless. Wow. It's a little bit deeper than just "Oh, this dude's just another crazy homeless guy." The experience reminded me don't be so quick judging others -- walk a mile in their shoes... or wash their feet... before you decide what their story is. Overall, it was a wonderful experience. I'll never forget meeting Bruce Wayne -- THE Batman  ^_^

Everyone has their own faith / ways of coping. I prayed for Bruce


Batman Returns is one of the better beat 'em ups you could play on the 16-bit Super Nintendo. The graphics are impressive, with huge characters and a mode-7 Batmobile level. The sound and music is right out of the movie and handled with class and skill. Batman plays well, and controls well. There's no slowdown to speak of, and the brutality you can viciously dish out is quite satisfying. The downside is... you can't dish it out with a friend. The action, even though Konami made attempts at diversity, does get a tad repetitive. On the brightside, Batman has quite the arsenal. He can block attacks, swing, toss Batarangs, and so forth. Batman fans will certainly eat this up. It looks and sounds great, and plays well, but it's missing that special ingredient to make it a cut above in my book

                                      The GINORMOUS penguin vehicle: a stunning sight for sore eyes!

The different difficulty levels and endings is a nice touch, but it can only do so much being a 1-player affair. I like Batman Returns, but not nearly as much as everyone else seems to. Definitely a fine beat 'em up, but I can think of several others I'd rather play instead. Not *quite* the superb smash SNES hit Konami's usually known for, but another fine note to their 16-bit resumé. Batman's first SNES outing is a successful one, though it leaves me wanting more. Overall, another fine Konami effort. We've been spoiled...
"So, who wants the next dance, boys?  I ain't got all night now"

Graphics: 9
Sound: 9
Gameplay: 7.5
Longevity: 6.5

Overall: 7.5

Bronze Award

"I hate clownin' round!"

[Well you're one to talk, Mister!
Look, if you returned in 1992, then
how OH HOW did you begin in 2005?!
What are you, some sort of magician?!
Can't make up your bloody mind, can ya! You're the one who needs to stop clownin' round!  Just WHO ARE YOU EH!?! -Ed.]

Well see now I can expla --

[Back off, LITTLE MAN!  This is between ME, and the BAT!  -Ed.]

Uh, yeah. That's all the time we have for tonight, folks. Thanks for coming. Drive safe and good night everybody!  ^_^

I didn't do cartwheels for this game but it is quality